Rules to be followed
Discovering whales in their natural habitat is an increasingly popular activity, and heightens visitors’ awareness of the fragility of the marine environment. On the other hand, this craze is not without its downsides. The ensure that this activity is practised responsibly, it is important to strive to limit the disturbance caused to animals and to maximize public awareness. For that matter, regulations have been adopted at different levels.
Guidelines for Best Practices for Watching Marine Mammals in Quebec
In May 2007, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) releases to the general public the “Guidelines for Best Practices for Watching Marine Mammals in Quebec” in order to minimize the risks of disturbance. This document, pending the new pan-Canadian regulation, provides clear and concrete voluntary guidelines.
Marine Park regulations: grand respect for grand whales
The Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park, together with scientists and boat operators, implemented the Marine Activities in the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park Regulations in 2002 and updated it in 2017. These regulations include a moratorium on the expansion of the industry, the issuing of permits and rules for approaching marine mammals.
Eco-Whale Alliance in the Marine Park
The Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park is one of the best spots in the world for whale-watching. Tour companies, the co-managers of the Marine Park and the GREMM teamed up to ensure the responsible practice and sustainable development of whale-watching activities.
The objectives of the the Eco-Whale Alliance are:
- To raise public awareness of conservation issues;
- To limit the impacts of offshore whale-watching activities;
- To ensure resource monitoring and the effectiveness of management measures;
- To adopt environmentally, socially and economically responsible practices;
- To work in a spirit of cooperation by bringing together stakeholders from the tourism, research and conservation sectors.
Alliance members strive toward continuous improvement in order that offshore activities in the Marine Park become a model of sustainable use.
Learn more: Eco-Whale Alliance.